Dyslexia in the workplace Day 1

DYSLEXIC STORIES FROM THE WORK PLACE THROUGHOUT DYSLEXIA AWARENESS WEEK

From time to time I get emails and tweets from people that listen to the show. Some telling me that they like reading the blog, some saying  they identify with guests and some asking how they can get more of our stuff.

A few weeks back I got an email from reader/listener, Rob Hood. He was asking if I would be covering anything to do with Dyslexia in the workplace. I hadn’t planned on doing so, but as Dyslexia in the workplace is a subject close to my heart, I thought it was a theme that would be well worth exploring.

As today is the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week (DAW) I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight the varied experiences and attitudes Dyslexics have faced in the workplace. So every day over DAW I will be sharing a piece of content from a different Dyslexic about their Dyslexic experience in the workplace.

It only seems fair that I should start off with a piece from the guy that kicked off this whole idea. When I asked Rob about his personal experiences in the workplace, he sent me this email which he has kindly allowed me to share with you.

ROB’S STORY:


I worked in Information Technology (IT) for many years.  In terms of the problems I faced, I could write a very long story about that, but I will spare you.  In short, lack of understanding from managers and colleagues was an issue.  Concentrating in open plan offices was a big problem for me, noise reduction headphones were of limited effect.  Personal organisation was a problem.  As were working memory issues, in terms of remembering instructions, keeping up in conversations and in meetings.  Proof reading and accurate interpretation of data on spread sheets were problems at times as well.  Also, the constant hit to my confidence was crippling at times.

I worked for nearly 12 years in a large company, the first five years were good.  I worked in IT applications support were my problem solving and people skills were heavily utilised.  But after that in the natural progression of a career, I was moved on to supposedly bigger and better things, but the jobs prayed on my weaknesses more.  I ended up working in the Project Office and this job did not suit me at all.  After over a decade with the company I was put on Capability Process.  Fortunately for me, I was able to dodge a potential capability dismissal by taking voluntary redundancy.That was in 2011 and unfortunately I have not worked since. Despite the challenges presented by my dyslexia in the work environment, a former manager did comment that, although I needed to work on my organisation, I did establish good working relationships, had innovative ideas and good communication skills.


Words by Rob Hood


RobHood

Rob Hood is based in Worcester and is a qualified systems analyst with 12 years of experience in the field. He is currently looking for both permanent and temporary employment in Project Management or IT Business Analysis.

You can find more about Rob here.

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